Buckshot's Trappers Tales

The #110 Conibear

The #110 conibear is a wonderful little trap. I caught my first muskrat with one back in 1975. The trap is 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" with a single spring. To set the trap you squeeze the spring down and open the jaws bringing them together. The trigger is made out of two thin pieces of wire connected to a folded piece of metal on the top jaw. There is a slot in the middle of this piece of metal where the second piece of the trigger hooks on. There are three settings and I generally used the middle one. You flip the top trigger and hook on the middle setting, now before you release pressure from the spring make sure your hand is clear.

The Conibear #110 The easiest way is to set it down on the ground upright and hold your finger on the top trigger and release the pressure from your other hand. Now the trap is set. Just play around with it for a while until you get use to setting them. Take a stick about 18 inches long hold one end and with the opposite end push on the trigger. The trap may fire or it might fall over. Try it both ways holding the trap spring to keep the trap from falling over and unsupported. The reason I wanted you to do this, is so you could see first hand why the trap HAS TO BE STABILIZED. This is very, very, important on conibear style traps. I don't care what size, you have to stabilize them. What this means is the trap is designed for the animal to stick his head in. Well, the trap has to be supported or it will fall over and spring off without catching the animal. Now, you just educated that animal to be scared and trap-shy of traps and he will be much harder to capture.

One way to make a great stabilizer for the #110 conibear is either buy lath boards, or if you know of someone remolding an old house and their ripping out the old lath board, so they can put up drywall, they will probably give you all the lath board for the asking. I cut mine 12-18" long (it is not critical), sharpen one end to a point, let them weather if they are new, you now have an easy-to-use stabilizer. Remember , this is for stabilizing the trap and not to be confused with a stake.

Take the lath board and at about a 45 degree angle, push the stake into the ground between the compressed spring and the open part of the two jaws. You want a downward pressure on the trap to keep it from being knocked over. Now, try pushing the 18" long stick on the trigger. The trap should fire, closing on the stick. Remember to keep your hands back -- these little trap hurt if they whack you one.

Of course, there are several ways to stabilize these traps, you can use two sticks and form a X over the top of the trap, you can weld a 6" long piece of 1/4" stock to the rivet, or if setting in boxes you can notch the box, etc.

Where to set the #110

The #110 can be used three different ways: den entrance, trail set, and bait set.

Den entrances for cottontail rabbits. The best way to learn how to trap, is wait until first snow and track the rabbit to it's den hole. Then place the #110 over the hole at whatever the angle of the hole is. You may have to make a small stabilizing stick on the spot. Place two 2-3" long approximately 1" diameter sticks on the bottom jaw this will keep the trapping from freezing to the ground. Take the chain off to one side, out of the way and wire it to a tree or handy branch. The next time a rabbit comes out or in the hole, he is caught.

Heavy brush piles will have a beaten path in the snow where the rabbits run and hide. Pick the spot with the most tracks and find a spot that is just about the size of the trap, all narrowed down with a top stick to keep the rabbits from jumping over. Place the trap there, if you have to you can add a couple of side sticks to help narrow it down and a top stick. Set the trap upright, so if the rabbit wants to get in the brush pile his only choice is through the trap. Stabilize, freeze sticks, wire it off, it is that simple.

The third way to get rabbits -- and this will work on all rabbits -- is with an old stove pipe 6" in diameter. Take a piece 12" to 24" long and cut a notch in the side for the spring to slide in, about 3" long, then bend the pipe down a little smaller, then the trap on both ends. Now, you slide the trap in making sure it fits snug, two traps, one on each end. Test to make sure there is enough room for the trigger to fire. Always test your pipe with a trap in it first. You may have to take a stick or two to close off the end opposite the spring, just make sure that the only way to get in the pipe is through the trap.

This stove pipe trap will work on squirrels , muskrats, ducks, rabbits, anything that can fit in the pipe and your bait attracts. Now wire the chain off to something solid. Place near berry bushes in the woods for rabbits and game birds. Around marshes, lakes, river, streams, etc. for muskrats, ducks, etc. All you do is take bait such as corn and make a trail going in each end to a pile of corn in the middle of the pipe. Of course, remove the trap before you place the corn in!! Pheasants, grouse, quail, etc. will go in for the corn, so will coons , so make sure you wire it off to something solid or the coon will run off with the trap. A big coon will just power his head out but smaller coons will be alive and in a bad mood when you arrive. I don't think the trap would kill a pheasant, but I know it will flatten the smaller game birds. Check the trap once a day. Mice will steal the bait so don't get upset, just re-bait or move the trap.

Now I have to place my disclaimer. You are responsible for checking your state's game laws and complying with them. In most, if not all states, game birds, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, and geese are protected from trapping. So I don't want to hear about your fines if you go out and try this. Most hunters and game wardens don't have a sense of humor when they see a pair of quails, grouse, etc. whacked in a trap. If you get hurt setting the traps that is also your risk, I have been whacked by the #330 on the hands and I will tell you in the cold water during winter it hurts bad. It didn't break the hand but it swelled up pretty good. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBLITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. (And neither does Captain Dave.)


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